The global warming climate has dramatically changed salamanders body size and has threatened their future. Salamanders in the southern Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia have gotten smaller over the past 50 years due to this climate change. Over the past decade, scientists have observed and documented the decline in salamander body size. Karen Lips, a biologist at University of Maryland wanted to determine the reasoning behind the dropping body size. Lips and her colleagues analyzed more than 9000 salamanders. The salamanders collected after 1980 were 8% smaller than those from decades past. The trend was most prominent in the places that had dramatic temperature increases. According to Lips, salamanders are very sensitive to changes in their surrounding environment because of the way they breathe through the skin. So when there's a temperature increase, their metabolism to increase and causes them to lose more calories and shrink.
Posted by Chelcie C.